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one week ago, Juilliard String Quartet founder and first violinist Robert Mann passed away at 97...

a Jan. 10 WSWS article recalls Mann's rationale for focusing upon ensemble playing--including an appreciation for ongoing, nuanced interaction throughout the piece--not always present in 'tour-de-force' composing for the prodigy ('I had not been a wunderkind,' Mann reflects)...

there exists a subtle 'synergy' in the composition, revealed in a patient, egalitarian company...

both forms deserve our attention--his métier was the chamber music of Haydn, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, and in the last century, of, e.g., Bartok...

The virtuoso looks for two things: those vehicles that allow him or her to display absolute wizardry on the instrument, and capturing that psychology of communication that knocks an audience dead."

"These things were not as meaningful to me," he added, "as the social phenomenon of making music among equals and the fact that, in chamber music, the composer was not interested in knocking anybody dead but in giving expression to his most subtle and complicated thoughts."
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